The Internet phone business software company Skype could be talking to two of the Internet's biggest companies for either a joint venture or even an all out acquisition of Skype. Reuters is reporting, via unnamed sources, that Facebook and Google are in talks with Skype that could lead to some kind of deal being made. The article claims that these secret talks are part of the reason Skype delayed its public offering of stock.
The article said that one source claims that Facebook, led by its co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, has been talking with Skype executives about buying the company outright. Another source. however, said that the talks are for some kind of joint venture between Facebook and Skype. Yet another source claims that Google is also in talks with Skype about some kind of joint venture. Details about what such a joint deal might be like were not revealed but the article does say that the discussions are still in the early days and it's not yet clear which idea Skype might go for in the end. Skype could also still launch its public stock offering in the second half of 2011. So far none of the companies involved have officially commented on the story or responded to inquires.
The article speculates that a public offering for Skype could raise as much as $1 billion for the Luxembourg-based company. However, an acquisition deal could be worth between $3 billion and $4 billion, according to sources. Launched in 2003, Skype's popularity as a way to make free phone calls via the Internet has exploded and it has over 600 million registered users in 2010. Recently a record number of 27 million users at one time were using the Skype software.